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Introduction

This is a transcription of the diary written by my great-grandmother, Anna Viola (Marshall) Kornhauser, who traveled to Würzburg, Germany in 1913 to meet her fiancé, (and my great-grandfather) Sidney Isaac Kornhauser, and be married. Sidney was in Würzburg to do post-graduate work in biology at the University of Halle and the University of Würzburg, before pursuing a professorship in the United States.

Anna & Sidney Kornhauser
Anna and Sidney Kornhauser

Anna Viola Marshall was born on March 23, 1887 in Youngstown, Ohio to Howard Johnson and Eolia Katherine (Stewart) Marshall. She was the oldest of four children. They later lived in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh. Anna and Sidney met in college, at the Western University of Pennsylvania (WUP), which is now the University of Pittsburgh. They both earned their Bachelors degrees from WUP in 1908. Sidney went on to do graduate work at Harvard University before completing his education in Europe. All I know of Anna's whereabouts during the period between 1908 and 1913, was that in 1910 she was living with her parents and siblings in Oklahoma City and teaching school.

Sidney Isaac Kornhauser was born November 3, 1887 in Cleveland, Ohio to Albert and Henrietta (Goldberg) Kornhauser. He was the youngest of five children. Sidney's father, Albert, was an immigrant from Hungary in the 1870s as a young man. His wife, Henrietta (Yetta) Goldberg, was the daughter of German immigrants. Both were Jewish, but Sidney gave up Judaism, probably at a fairly early age, and became atheistic. According to family lore, however, his Jewish background hindered his career advancement, particularly in the 1920s and '30s when anti-Semitism was more common.

Anna was 26 years old when she began the trip to meet Sidney in Germany in September 1913. They were married on November 8, 1913 in that city. The pair returned to the United States in late June/early July of 1914. While they were on board the ship bound for the U.S., Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated in Sarajevo (June 28, 1914). By the time the two had reached the United States, World War I had begun in Europe (though the US would not become involved until 1917). Anna does not mention anything about these events in her journal.

The diary is interesting (and sometimes quite funny) and presents an interesting view of life in the early 1900s in both the United States and Germany and while traveling. It is, however, occasionally quite biased, particularly in the descriptions of Germans and in the discussions of the return trip. It was written in a small book with spaces for the weather, location, date, and temperature, which Anna eventually ignored most of the time (except for the dates). Anna also used a lot of German words and locations interspersed with the English. I have done the best I can with these, but I don't speak German, so I apologize if there are misspellings, etc.

For the ease of the reader, I have divided the journal into several portions that make it easier to navigate. Links to each are below.

Voyage to Würzburg: Sept 12 - Sept 22, 1913
First Experiences in Germany: Oct 1 - Oct 13, 1913
Marriage Preparations: Oct 14 - Nov 7, 1913
Newlyweds: Nov 11 - Dec 28, 1913
New Year: Jan 12 - Feb 26, 1914
Job Search: Feb 28 - May 11, 1914
Return Home: May 29 - July 2, 1914